Remembering Shay Litvak Our Co-Founder and CTO

November 1979 - September 2023

Work Schedule Change Notice Letter Template for Businesses

Work Schedule Change Notice LetterWork Schedule Change Notice Letter
min read
August 21, 2023

Sometimes as an employer, you need to shift your employees' schedules around. To make sure everyone shows up when you expect and business proceeds as usual, you should send out these changes in writing with a work schedule change notice letter. 

But what, exactly, is this letter and what should you put in it? And how should you word things? 

To help you out, we've created a guide on what to put in a work shift change letter and included a template you can tailor to your needs.

What’s a Work Schedule Change Notice Letter?

A work schedule change notice letter is a letter to your employees informing them about an upcoming change to their work hours. This could be anything from changing their shift times to giving them more or fewer hours regularly.

Template For Work Schedule Change Notice Letter

If you're not sure about how to word things, don't worry. We've got you covered with our letter template. Just click “Make a copy” and you can edit your own. To help you tweak it to your needs, we’ve listed a few scenarios below the placeholders that you can borrow from to quickly make a tailored letter.

Template for work schedule change letter

Or you can copy and paste the template from the actual text here:

[Company letterhead]

[Contact information]

[Today’s date]

Re: Notification of Change of Shift

Dear [Employee Name],

Thank you for being such a dedicated and flexible employee. We appreciate all that you do. 

After careful consideration, we’ve decided to make changes to your shift. [Reason why there’s a change, such as:]

Beginning on [date change takes effect], your new work hours will be [name of shift if applicable] [list updated work hours].

This schedule will be in effect until [last day of schedule change].

[Changes to pay, if applicable] 

Please let [person or department] know if you have questions or conflicts, or if you need clarification on anything.


[Your signature]

[Your name]

Enclosures: [Types of documents enclosed]

Sample Letter for Work Hour Changes

If you want to see how all the pieces fit together, here's what a sample business letter can look like using our template. Just click “Make a copy” and you can edit your own.

Shift schedule change template

Or you can copy and paste the sample letter from the actual text here:

Company ABC

2222 Hickory Lane

Somewhereville, MI 99999

Oct. 13, 2022

Re: Notification of Change of Shift

Dear Jane Doe, 

Thank you for being such a dedicated and flexible employee. We appreciate all that you do.

After careful consideration, we’ve decided to make changes to your shift. We're expanding our hours starting at the end of November to better meet our customers’ needs. As of November 28th, we'll now be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Beginning Monday, November 28th, your new work hours will be the second shift. Your specific hours will be 2 to 8 p.m. on Monday through Friday. You’ll be off of work on Saturdays.

Your pay rate and number of hours per week remain the same.

Please let Human Resources know if you have questions or conflicts, or if you need clarification on anything.


Jane Boss 

Enclosures: The new company-wide work schedule

What To Include in Your Schedule Change Letter

At a minimum, you’ll want to include in your letter:

  1. The date the changes are taking place
  2. What hours each week the employee should plan on working
  3. How long the changes will last

Basically, your letter should have the details your employee needs to continue reporting to work on time. 

You’ll also want to print this letter on official letterhead, with the name of the company and your logo.

That’s all you really need if you want to keep it short and sweet. But some additional information can go a long way in avoiding pushback from employees. If they have a more complete picture, they’ll be more likely to get on board. You can include things like:

How Should You Deliver This Letter?

This type of letter should be sent as a formal letter. You could discuss the changes in person, either in a one-on-one or a meeting, or via an informal email or memo, but following up with a physical written notice is always a good idea.  

When Should You Send Your Employees A Work Change Notice?

If you’ve decided to change your employee’s work schedules, it makes sense to notify them as far in advance as possible. Many employers send this notification about two weeks before the changes take effect. This gives employees enough time to adjust and make necessary changes to their personal lives. 

But you'll want to check to see if your state has laws about when you should notify employees about schedule changes. A handful of locations in the U.S. have implemented these predictive scheduling laws to protect employees. Other states are talking about following suit. Currently, these states have laws in place:

For example, in Oregon, companies in the food service, hospitality, and retail industry with at least 500 employees have to post their employee work schedules at least two weeks in advance, including all on-call shifts. If you change the plan after it's posted, employees have the right to decline and are entitled to additional compensation.

Some cities in California have also passed similar laws, though there isn’t yet a predictive scheduling law at the state level. For instance, if you’re a retail or fast food business operating in Emeryville with a certain number of employees, you’ll need to pay your employee extra if you change their schedule with less than 14 days’ notice. How much you need to pay depends on how much notice you gave. 

Why Send a Work Schedule Change Notice?

A written notice documents the change, shows you’ve thought it through, and lets your employee adjust their plans. Let’s look at these reasons more closely. 

So, while your location might not legally require you to give employees much notice, it still makes sense to do so.

Do Employees Have to Consent to Schedule Changes? 

As an employer, you have the O.K. from the Department of Labor (DOL) to change an employee’s work schedule as you see fit, even if your employee doesn’t like their new hours. 

But just because you can change your employee's schedule doesn't mean you should. Changing things up can create a lot of chaos and confusion. Plus, it's not always fair to employees who may have other commitments outside of work. This means a change in hours may lead to a resignation letter ending up on your desk. 

What Are the Restrictions on Changing an Employee’s Schedule?

According to federal law, you can't make changes to an employee's schedule that would violate the terms of their employment contract, like switching a full-time employee to part-time.  

If you're operating in a business with unionized employees, you'll also need to stick to the collective bargaining agreement. This official document spells out rules and regulations around employee scheduling, among other things. It’s a legal contract between the union and management. You’ll also want to keep in mind any state laws on scheduling that apply to you.

Other items on your to-do list are to make sure these changes are accurately reflected on your payroll. Hourly makes this part simple with its integrated time tracking and attendance feature. No matter when your employees clock in, they’ll get paid the right amount for the time they work. 

What if YOU get an Employee Shift Change Request Letter?

If an employee sends you a letter asking to change their schedule, your job is to reply promptly in writing. Let them know whether or not you approve of the request.

If you agree, write in what their new schedule is and the starting date for the new hours. 

What if your answer is no? 

Try to offer an alternative solution. For instance, if they're asking for a work hour change that's not possible, see if there's another time that would work better. 

Remember, employees often have busy lives outside of work. So, be understanding and flexible when it comes to shift changes. Any changes you make can still be mutually beneficial.

Handle Changes in Employee Work Schedules with Ease

Notifying your employees about changes in their schedule doesn't need to be stressful or complicated. By putting the change into writing two weeks before it takes place, you’ll give them time to prepare for their new hours. This way, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page so that the changes get implemented smoothly and your business keeps on running. 

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.